Through the 2022 NCAA women's basketball tournament, there have been 160 No. 1 seeds. That's from 40 tournaments going back to the inaugural 1982 edition.
Thirty-three different schools have claimed a top seed, from Louisiana Tech and Cheyney State to, yes, UConn and Tennessee. Only four programs have been a No. 1 seed double-digit times, while at the other end, six schools have been No. 1 only once.
Here are all the teams with appearances as a No. 1 seed:
|Team||Times No. 1||Most Recent No. 1|
|Long Beach State||3||1987|
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Not surprisingly, UConn and Tennessee stand way out in front. The 11-time national champion Huskies and coach Geno Auriemma were a No. 1 every season from 2007 through 2018. That's right: 12 consecutive years as a No. 1 seed.
Tennessee hasn't been a top seed since 2014, but the Lady Vols still match UConn with 22 times. Tennessee was a No. 1 every season from 1998 through 1996, good for a nine-year run that included three national crowns. Overall, Tennessee has eight NCAA tournament titles.
In the 2021 tournament, NC State made program history by claiming a top seed for the first time. The Wolfpack picked up No. 2 seeds three previous times (1989-1991) but a 20-2 mark in 2020-21 combined with an ACC tournament championship pushed NC State to the top line. NC State was then a No. 1 seed again in 2022.
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How do No. 1 seeds do in the tournament?
A top seed isn't a guarantee of a deep run — 1998 Harvard says hello — but No. 1 seeds are by far the most successful. Thirty-one of of the 40 champs came from the top line, with 2021-22 South Carolina the most recent.
At least one No. 1 seed has made every Final Four, with No. 1s going 4-for-4 in making the national semifinals four times: 1989, 2012, 2015 and 2018. All four almost made it in 2022, with No. 1 NC State falling short in the Elite Eight to No. 2 seed UConn.
Perhaps even more impressively, only seven No. 1 seeds have failed to reach at least the Sweet 16. Duke in 2009 is the most recent top seed to bow out before the regional semifinals.